Is Eating Banana Peels Actually a Thing?

banana peels made into a pasta sauce

To answer our own question: yes, eating banana peels is most definitely a thing. It’s a sustainable, no food waste, frugal and nutritious thing too! See our new pasta sauce recipe here along with more information on eating banana peels.

Potato Milk, another unexpected thing, is the most sustainable of the plant milks. See a recipe for it here.

Popular pages:
Free Food: gardening/foraging/giving
Cheap Holidays and Days Out
Sourdough Bread for Pennies
Healthy Eating and Exercising on a Budget

Bargains:
Everything5Pounds – clothes, accessories.
Low Price Foods
Approved Food

radish top soup

Featured and Seasonal Recipes:
radish top soup
wild garlic pesto
nettle soup
sweet and sour red cabbage
mixed bean casserole
banana raisin flapjacks

It’s almost summery here now. We hope it’s lovely where you are too.

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

forest garden book

Creating a Forest Garden: a great book on this novel way of growing edible crops – with nature doing most of the work for you. A forest garden is modelled on young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops growing in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, there is little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Buy UK

Eating Banana Peels: Pasta Sauce Recipe

eating banana peels - a pasta sauce recipe
Banana Peel Pasta Sauce

What’s this about eating banana peels? Is that even a thing?

It’s definitely a thing. Eating banana peels is actually good for you; they’re full of healthy fibre, B vitamins, magnesium and potassium. It cuts down on food waste and can save a bit of money too. Whats not to love? The peels can be added to smoothies and curries, and even made into a bacon substitute.

The riper the banana, the sweeter the peel. If using in a savoury recipe like this one either use less ripe peels or scrape the white pith bit away as it’s the sweetest part. We were a bit worried that it might make the sauce taste all banana-y and strange. It didn’t at all. The peels have only a subtle flavour.

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Banana Peel Pasta Sauce Ingredients (serves 4)

  • the peels of three bananas, washed well and diced small, hard ends cut off
  • vegetables of your choice. We used a diced green pepper, 3 diced celery stalks, half a diced courgette and a sweet potato cut into larger chunks.
  • herbs of your choice, a teaspoon of dried or a small bunch of fresh. Oregano is traditional. We used fresh parsley and lovage from the garden.
  • a tube of tomato puree
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Method

We made a a really simple oil free dish. For a more traditional approach you could fry some onions and garlic in a little oil first.

Place your banana peels, vegetables and herbs in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until the veg and peels are tender. Stir in the tomato puree and season with salt and pepper.

Serve over pasta of your choice.

Other no waste recipes on site:


The Secret Gardening Club always have great offers of overstock from nurseries:


FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

Set in a castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations and a love story.

Paperbacks and kindle on Amazon UK and  Amazon Worldwide. Also on Kindle Unlimited and at all good book shops and even available in the library!

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society

Frugal Spring: wild food, gardening, slippers…

Frugal Spring

Frugal Spring. We’re saying it’s spring because we’re so desperate for it to be so, and it may still feel like winter, but it WILL be spring VERY soon!

Wild garlic and nettles are already starting to grow in the garden and woods, great for recipes such as wild garlic pesto and nettle soup.

We’ve been doing a little bit of early gardening. In the pots pictured above are: red chilli seeds bought for 10p last autumn from Asda, coriander seeds from a Thompson and Morgan sale (their special offers are always worth checking out though we also saved the seeds from last year’s coriander and will be doing later plantings with them), rosemary that we grew from cuttings (so easy, just snip healthy looking bits and stick them in pots or the ground), and some thyme that was reduced to 30p in Tesco last year. These herbs have survived the winter well.

See our gardening/foraging/free food section here for more information.

The Cheap Slippers (and other clothes/shoes):
Everything5Pounds have their last winter sale on here with lots of things at £2.50 including some sweet slippers, unicorn style or Fairislse patterned!

Popular pages:
Cheap Holidays and Days Out
The 25p Meal
Make Money, Earn a Few Pounds

Bargain Food:
Low Price Foods
Approved Food

Frugal Spring

Featured Recipes:
Tomato Rice Soup
Leek and Potato Soup
Singapore Noodles
Beer Battered Onion Rings
Chocolate Cake

Wishing you all some lovely spring sunshine soon!

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

Aberdeen’s 1597 witchcraft panic (mermaid) and 18th century kidnappings (fireflies) combine with love and hope in THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR & FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE.

Both books are available on Kindle Unlimited and from the library!

Potato Broccoli Croquettes, a #nowaste recipe

potato broccoli croquettes, a no waste recipe

These potato broccoli croquettes are absolutely delicious, frugal and a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.

The Frugal Story of the Plate

The mashed potato we’ve mentioned, but the broccoli came from an Olio Food Hero who had been given 78 heads of the stuff by Tesco. (Olio is a food sharing app, search for it on your phone or it’s on the web here). We took a box from her for the compost (compost post here) as there was no way she could give all that away, but we used as much broccoli as possible in our meals during that week! The cornbread in the picture also came from Olio; the food heroes always have LOTS of bread, much of which gets binned if it doesn’t get requested quickly enough.

The hummus on the bread, we won in an Instagram competition. See our sister site’s account here where we share a lot of these tag and like competitions on the story. Feel free to tag us if you want! The chilli contained 2 peppers from one of those £1.50 big veg boxes Lidl sometimes put together. They usually contain at least £10 of food. In our local Lidl they seem to only appear early in the morning at weekends. The chilli also had a tin of mixed beans from Lidl and we used the water from the can as well as the cooking water from the broccoli earlier. There’s nothing particularly frugal about the salad…

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Potato Broccoli Croquettes Ingredients

  • Mashed Potatoes (we used roughly a soup bowl sized amount for four people to have 5 or 6 croquettes each)
  • half a head of broccoli, lightly steamed or boiled
  • a tablespoon of chickpea flour (gram flour). Other flour will do too.
  • optional: other leftovers. We had a small amount of veggie haggis in there too.
  • we also put in a little sourdough starter discard in to save wasting it (sourdough post here) but it’s not actually required.
  • a teaspoon of mustard, but you can use any herbs or spices you like to flavour these up.
  • a little salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs to coat. Crushed potato crisps also work well.
  • a tablespoon of oil for shallow frying

Method

  • Chop the broccoli into small pieces and mix it into the mash with any other leftovers and mustard/spices/salt you’re using.
  • Prepare some breadcrumbs on a dish for rolling the croquettes in.
  • Form the mixture into small sausage shapes – if it’s too wet and sticky, add more flour.
  • Roll them in the crumbs and lay on a plate ready for frying. These can be prepared earlier and left to sit in the fridge until needed.
  • Shallow fry them, turning at least once during the frying process, until nice and crispy brown.
  • We served them with a homemade garlic mayo dip (recipe here). It went really well with them.

If you liked these potato broccoli croquettes, check out our other frugal recipes here.

Other no waste recipes on site:

In other news, the Jerusalem Artichokes we mentioned in our frugal living basics post finally got planted! Check out our free food and gardening page here.

Jerusalem Artichoke in the ground

The Secret Gardening Club always have great offers of overstock from nurseries:

Books

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

Set in a castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations and a love story.

Paperbacks and kindle on Amazon UK and  Amazon Worldwide and all good book shops and even the library!

“Ailish Sinclair spins this Scottish tale filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society

Frugal Living Basics and Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes and Garlic to be planted

Happy New Year!

It’s wintry here in Scotland. Of course it is. It’s January after all. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have garden plans. Above are Jerusalem Artichokes (like wee nutty potatoes, but plant once and have them forever) and some garlic bulbs that sprouted in the fridge. This is a good time for planting both. We just have to brave the cold and dig them in now! See our gardening/foraging/free food section here and Jerusalem Artichokes here from Thompson and Morgan.

But on to the Frugal Basics, great for a new year and a new start. One of the quickest ways to start reducing your spending is to rein in the food bill. See our food shopping tips here and all our frugal recipes here.

frugal recipes

Also see:
Frugal Living Around the House
Cheap Holidays and Days Out
Healthy Eating on a Budget
The 25p Meal
Sourdough Bread for Pennies

Some cheap places to shop online:

Low Price Foods
Approved Food
Everything5Pounds (clothes etc.)

Featured Recipes:

Wishing you all a happy and fruitful 2022!

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

Golden Soup: Turmeric Quinoa Vegetable

golden soup

This golden soup is light and nutritious and fragrant, the perfect panacea for all the rich food around at this time of year (post written in December). The quinoa is a great source of protein and turmeric is nicely anti-inflammatory for this hectic season. (See Frugal Christmas).

Quinoa has come down in price in recent years and most supermarkets now have it. We found it cheaply at Approved Food recently (also check Low Price Foods). Rice would also work well, as would rice noodles.

Golden Soup Ingredients (serves 4)

  • a handful of quinoa
  • 2 large carrots, cut into thin inch long strips
  • 2 sticks of celery, cut similarly
  • half a leek, ditto
  • 1 small sweet potato, same cutting
  • 1 yellow pepper, thin strips
  • a cup of frozen peas
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek
  • salt to taste

Golden Soup Method

It’s very simple. Place all the ingredients except the salt in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, turn down to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the quinoa has swollen and released its little tail things. Add salt to taste and enjoy!

If you liked this golden soup recipe, check out all our other tasty offerings here

Frugal Gifts

Everything5Pounds have a great range of clothes and homewares. All for £5, sometimes less. Designer items end up in the mix too.
The Works are fantastic for selling sets of books for the price you would normally pay for one, so great if you have lots of kids to buy for (or adults!).

Frugal Holidays

Travelling over the festive period?

Near the Motorways - a book to make holidays and days out cheaper

Near the Motorways: Affordable Alternatives to Service Stations (10th Edition). This book lists places that provide a meal or a quiet rest just five minutes from a motorway junction. The author has personally visited and selected over 200 entries in the guide which are included for their ambiance, friendliness, imaginative menus or peaceful surroundings. They do not pay for inclusion so each is chosen solely on merit. Each entry is illustrated by pen and wash drawing by the author, for ease of recognition. Special mention is made of the welcome for dogs and children and of any places of interest which are nearby. Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Autumnal Cooking and Garden Capers

autumnal cooking
leek and potato soup

That Autumnal Feeling…

There’s a definite quality to the sunshine and breeze now. It’s autumn here in Scotland. The leaves are just starting to turn and it’s weather for soup and time to start thinking about log fires.

Autumnal Cooking

Leek and Potato Soup, pictured above. Included are two recipes, one very basic and mashed and the other a little fancier with peas.
Roast Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta, works well with butternut squash too.
Roast Potatoes with lots of variations detailed.
Chick Pea Curry
Apple Pie and Fruit Crumble

Garden Capers

We’re busy in the garden building new compost bins with reclaimed pallets. You can read about some of our other upcycled pallet projects here. We’ve also been sowing coriander, radishes and winter lettuce.

Useful YouTube Channels

Bonny Prepping Quine: building an old style kitchen pantry for food security.
Huw Richard’s frugal and free gardening advice.

In case you missed it last time

Olio is an app that you can download to your phone to share food in your local area. People share things that they can’t use up in time, while farmers and gardeners sometimes offer produce that they have too much of. We’ve added this information to our free food section but you can just search for the app.

Cheap Food and Clothing

Clearance food outlets Low Price Foods and Approved Foods are well worth a regular check as they get new products in often.

Everything5Pounds: the £2.50 sale is still ongoing. This is the longest we’ve ever seen it last!

May autumn bring you lots of beautiful sunny days and delicious autumnal cooking!

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

Sourdough Bread for Pennies – easy too!

sourdough bread decorated with parsley
A somewhat volcanic loaf, decorated with flat leaf parsley

Sourdough bread is absolutely delicious and can be really easy and cheap to make. It’s the way bread was made for thousands of years, containing healthy bacteria for the gut, and the long fermenting process partly breaks down and digests the gluten. We’re not experts by any means, and are quite lazy bakers, but we’re successfully making lovely sourdough for pennies. Tesco sometimes sell off 1kg bags of plain flour for 15p (in baskets round the store) and those are what we’ve been using here, each one making just over two loaves.

We made this starter recipe using grapes and it certainly created a wonderfully frothy active starter that sits on a windowsill and is called Herbert! There was no wasting the discard when we first fed Herbert; we made pizza dough and left it to sit all day, then topping with tomato sauce, tomatoes and Asda free from Mozzarella (they have much cheaper free from cheese than the other supermarkets). It was gorgeous.

sourdough pizza

There’s a basic sourdough bread recipe here. What follows are our lazy variations!

The first bread we made was a herby olive oil focaccia. We kneaded the dough once, coated in herbs and olive oil and left it to rise all day in a tin before baking late afternoon along with dinner. It tasted amazing.



Then we tried olive bread, and returned to the dough after a couple of hours and gave it a second kneading and shaping. This one was left to rise overnight and baked in the morning. Again, the taste of this stuff is delectable.

It was great sliced up and served with our tomato rice soup.

Artisan Sourdough Made Simple

The loaf pictured at the top of the page was the result of putting it into an oven that was not pre-heated (told you, no expertise here). The high rise happened during the lower temperatures, and we love it.

For a more expert view and LOTS of ideas, we highly recommend the book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Delicious Handcrafted Bread with Minimal Kneading. We’re going to be trying a jalapeño bread from there soon.

And in the garden we’ve been sowing some seeds that are good to put in during July:

potato patch poppy
A frilly red poppy popped up in the potato patch!


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Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

soused red cabbage

Recipe submitted by Colleen.

red cabbage

We were really pleased to receive this sweet and sour red cabbage recipe just now (during the Corona Virus crisis) as red cabbage is a really cheap vegetable that is rich in nutrients and good for the immune system. It’s also unlikely to be sold out due to bulk buying!

Goes with most things and ingredients can be altered to suit e.g. use any cabbage, vinegar, sugar, (what you’ve got).  

This recipe also freezes well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons marg or veg oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 apples peeled & grated
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • salt & black pepper

Method:

Heat marg/oil in saucepan. Add cabbage & apple. Cook for 5 mins. Stir occasionally. Add vinegar & brown sugar. Season to taste. Cover and cook gently for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Serves 4-6.

Optional: add 1/2 sliced onion with cabbage & apple + pinch fennel or caraway seeds when salting (or whenever).

If you do want to stock up your cupboards, the place to do it is Approved Food. They sell clearance food, drink and household items online. They’re a fantastic source of bargains and are set up to cope with bulk buying, so you’re not depleting resources.

See all our frugal recipes here

***

The Mermaid and the Bear Cover

Ailish Sinclair‘s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, and featuring the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, is out now.

On Amazon and Waterstones or see Author website for more details.